In the last decade, the fashion industry has been under pressure to be more sustainable. While some brands have heeded the call of environmentalists to make their processes more sustainable, there are still some who have not. The same is true of fashion consumers. A great number of people have started to make efforts to make their wardrobe more sustainable, but there is still a greater number of patronizing unsustainable fashion brands. If you’re still on the fence about sustainable fashion, these sustainable fashion facts will convince you to join the movement.
Fashion Industry Facts About Consumption And Waste
A person consumes 11.4 kg of apparel yearly (Quantis 2018).
The average number of times a piece of clothing is worn before it is thrown away has decreased by 36% in the last 15 years (Elle MacArthur Foundation 2017).
One in six young adults (16%) say they keep their clothes for under two years before throwing them away (YouGov 2017).
By 2030, the fashion industry is expected to produce 148 million tons of waste. This is equivalent to an annual waste of 17.5 kg per capita globally (Global Fashion Agenda 2017).
Approximately 60% of all clothing produced ends up in incinerators or landfills within a year after production (McKinsey 2016).
Less than 1% of the material used to produce clothing is recycled (Elle MacArthur Foundation 2017).
Fashion Industry Facts About Pollution
A kilogram of clothing generates 11 kg of greenhouse gases throughout its life cycle (McKinsey 2016).
The fashion industry’s CO2 emissions are projected to increase to nearly 2.8 billion tons per year by 2030 (Global Fashion Agenda 2017).
The production of polyester alone emitted about 706 billion kg of greenhouse gases in 2015. This is equivalent to the combined annual emissions of 185 coal-fired powerplants (World Resources Institute 2017).
A garment releases about 1,900 synthetic plastic microfibers when washed. These plastic microfibers are too small to get caught in the wastewater treatment so they go straight to the oceans (Browne et al. 2011a).
Fashion Industry Facts About Production
63% of textile fibers are synthetically derived from petrochemicals (Lenzing 2017).
It takes approximately 2,720 liters of water to produce one cotton shirt (that is equivalent to the amount of water an average person drinks in 3 years) (EJF). On the other hand, 10,000 liters of water is used to produce a pair of jeans (WRAP 2011).
The fashion industry consumed 79 billion cubic meters (or 32 million Olympic-size swimming pools) in 2015. It is estimated to increase by 50% by 2030 (Global Fashion Agenda 2017).
The cultivation area of cotton only covers 3% of the planet’s agricultural land but its production consumes about 16% of all insecticides and 7% of all herbicides (Greenpeace 2017).
The Global Fashion Agenda predicted that the fashion industry will use 35% more land for cotton, more forest for cellulose fibers, and grassland for livestock by 2030 (Global Fashion Agenda 2017).
Inspired To Be More Sustainable?
These sustainable fashion facts reveal that a lot needs to be changed in the fashion industry sooner rather than later. If there is any truth in the law of supply and demand, then it is up to the consumers to demand from fashion companies to supply them with sustainable fashion choices. Inspired yet? You can find better, more sustainable fashion choices at The Etho.